At the birthplace of Chiara Luce Badano

On 6–7 March 2022 Focolare’s president and co-president were in Sassello, Italy, the birthplace of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano in the province of Savona. It was an intimate, personal meeting with Chiara Luce and the foundation that protects and promotes her memory.

Things change after you visit Sassello. The young Chiara Luce can certainly be known through books, documentaries or her massive presence on social media. But if you are lucky enough to go to Sassello, everything changes. This is because at the cemetery, or through her mother Maria Teresa and friends, the relationship with her immediately takes on a personal quality.

That is exactly what happened on 6–7 March to Margaret Karram and Jesús Morán when they went there. It was one of the first off-site trips by the Focolare president and co-president, one year after the General Assembly that elected them. This private visit came from a desire to know Chiara Luce, but not just that.

“During these days I understood the extraordinary nature of Chiara Luce, the roots of her holiness,” commented the president, who was able to embrace Maria Teresa Badano, meet the Bishop of Acqui Mons. Luigi Testore and meet members of the Chiara Badano Foundation.

These were important days, with an atmosphere of growing affection, dialogue and sharing. It was a time to rebuild relationships of trust, collaboration and take a look together at numerous challenges and future projects.

It was a brief visit, marked by precious anecdotes from Maria Teresa, who recalled pieces of Chiara Luce’s daily life, such as her constant and total openness to welcome anyone who came to visit her – right up to the last days of her life.

At the cemetery, meeting Chiara Luce face to face, “we entrusted to her, first of all, peace in Ukraine and in the many places where conflicts are not in the media spotlight,” said Jesús Morán, “and then all young people, for whom she is an extraordinary and extremely necessary model, today more than ever.”

Stefania Tanesini

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